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Tigers sweep A's, move into first-place tie: Detroit 5, Oakland 2

Jeremy Bonderman pitched well for his third consecutive start, striking out eight A's.
Jeremy Bonderman pitched well for his third consecutive start, striking out eight A's.

Final - 5.20.2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit Tigers 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 5 12 0
Oakland Athletics 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 5 0
WP: Jeremy Bonderman (2 - 2)
SV: Jose Valverde (11)
LP: Tyson Ross (1 - 2)

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The Tigers are in first place.

That seems a bit ... improbable.

Actually, it seems a lot unexpected, too, given their recent schedule.

But more about that later.

Jeremy Bonderman allowed just three hits and a run Thursday during his six innings on the mound against his former organization. He struck out eight. While it's safe to say Oakland's offense is not exactly made up of world beaters, this marked Bonderman's third consecutive start of giving up two runs or less while going at least six innings. The other two were against the Angels and the Yankees.

At the plate, Miguel Cabrera ended his recent slump with a two-run homer in the fifth inning. Fellow Venezuelan Magglio Ordonez had two hits and a pair of RBI. Alex Avila even had a pair of hits.

Not bad.

It's pretty exciting to see the Tigers back in a first-place tie with the Twins. Forty-one games into the season, the reset button was hit for both teams. Like some predicted, this division looks like it's going to be a horserace until the end for at least those two teams. At 7 games back, Chicago is stalking the pack from more than a few lengths back, but it's too soon to count the White Sox out.

Now beyond that, what do I feel about the Tigers in first?

As I posted on Twitter earlier in the day, I was kind of enjoying the Tigers being in second place. The team has been in first before: 2006, 2007, 2009. And none of those years resulted in a division title. All of them left fans kind of dreading the latter months of the season when the stalking Twins rally from behind.

This year felt different, because the Tigers were fittingly enough the predator chasing the first-place prey.

It feels a bit too soon to catch the Twins.

I'm going to get a bit nervous if Detroit builds up a lead of a couple of games while Minnesota returns to its comfortable stalking position.

But maybe that's just me.

Divisions aren't won or lost in May, June or even July. So I guess I'll just forget everything I just wrote.

Detroit is in first place tonight, and we fans are going to enjoy it.